Pia Kristina Edqvist

Head Engineer - Section for Conservation
Image of Pia Kristina Edqvist
Norwegian version of this page
Visiting address Kabelgaten 34 Økern næringspark 0580 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 6762 St. Olavs plass 0130 Oslo

Work area

The work consists of conservation of archaeological objects, both inorganic and organic materials. In addition, my work also relate to exhibitions, external/internal loans and preventive conservation and revision of stored collections.

Higher education and employment history

I have a BA in History, Art history, Archaeology and Egyptology from Karlstad University, Sweden (2007) and a BSc degree in Objects Conservation- archaeological material from Gothenburg University, Sweden (2009). My bachelor thesis was executed in cooperation with the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, England, focusing on the treatment, analysis and future storage of a polychromic wooden Egyptian coffin from the third intermediate period.

My MSc degree was executed at the University of Oslo, department of Archaeology, Conservation and History (2014). My master dissertation focused on the documentation, conservation and material analysis of over 250 African hair combs originating from all over Africa spanning through 3000 years of history from Ancient Egypt to early 20th century. A large part of this work was in preparation for an exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge but also the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge. The exhibition was called 'Origins of the Afro Comb, 6,000 years of culture, politics and identity' and was on show from July-November 2013.   

I have a wide background, from archaeological material, ethnographic collections to preventive and active conservation. From work within the Arctic Circle in, Tromsø, Norway (2010-2012), at Tromsø Museum. with newly excavated archaeological material, to England, where I have cared for large and significant collections in London at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (2012-2016) and in Cambridge at the Fitzwilliam Museum (2009-2010). I have also through my profession and my studies developed a broad interest in material composition, technology and technical analysis.

Academic Interests

Conservation of archaeological material, especially organic composition such as leather, textiles, and fur/pelt and polychromic wood. Chemical analyses and material technology is also an area of particular interest.  

A special passion is the material culture of ancient Egypt; I have experience from conservation fieldwork at Amarna for the Amarna trust in 2015. Fieldwork included conservation of a large number of polychromic wooden coffin fragments.

I have also specialised in working with human remains and am therefore particularly interested in the ethical care and conservation of remains, including the complex and broad discussions that surround the care for such collections. I also very much enjoy passing on skills and sharing experience with colleagues, students and interns.

I have a special commitment to human rights, ethics and sustainability. I want to promote the various ways in which cultural heritage and conservation can make a difference in a broader social context. I am the Co-Director of Social Sustainability for Ki Culture, a non-profit organization that provides sustainable solutions for cultural heritage.

A action-based Ki Book was published on 18th January 2021 providing a simple, visual, practical and concise guide to a more sustainable practice in museums. The Social Sustainability Handbook will be published in 2022 and will explore topics in the Ki Book in more depth. 


Tags: Conservation, Archaeological conservation, Cultural heritage, Material technology, Material analysis, Ethics, Sustainability, Social Sustainability, Nature/Culture, Diversity

Selected publications

Edqvist, P. (2015). ‘King catfish and his mud seals’A. Stevenson (red.) The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology-characters and collections, UCL Press London. 40-41.

Edqvist, P. (2014). African Hair Combs: A Study of Technology, Deterioration and Conservation of a Group of African Combs. Unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Oslo

Edqvist, P. (2013). ‘Materials of construction and use: African hair combs from the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge’ S.A. Ashton (red.) Origins of the Afro comb, 6,000 years of culture, politics and identity. Cambridge: Fitzwilliam Museum. 21-29.

Edqvist, P. (2013) ‘African Hair Combs: Exploring Material Technology Using Fibre Optics Reflectance Spectroscopy’ Summary of project for ASD.inc Available from: http://www.asdi.com/getattachment/a59d896b-a52c-4103-92dc-cae1bb2045f8/Exploring-African-Hair-Comb

Published Aug. 30, 2017 12:32 PM - Last modified Feb. 7, 2022 1:45 PM